Tata's two-seater race car unveiled under Tata Motors' new sub-brand Tamo is expected to make its way here by early 2018. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Tata has a bit of a racecar history
Contrary to popular opinion, this is not Tata's first sportscar. Just like the Racemo, a supremely well-designed Aria roadster concept was showcased at the Geneva motor show in the 2000 and a two-seater coupe convertible was launched the year after. Though this model was sold later as a premium MPV, the Aria.
2. It makes use of a unique structure technology
"Racemo is built on a patented MOFlex Multi-Material Sandwich (MMS) structure - a structural technology, enabling greater freedom in surface design, efficient large-scale part integration leading to modularity and faster time to market," the company announced in a statement. The tech is cost-efficient and affords great freedom when it comes to design. The automaker also claims that it’s the first company to use this technology in the passenger car market.
3. The Racemo was never meant to make it for production
Interestingly, the car was initially created for digital racing, but the design team in Turin decided to make a physical model too. This model was then presented to the top brass of the company, who clearly happened to like the end result and the rest is history.
4. The design is one of its best aspects
The design looks like the racing fantasies of a teenager came to life. The butterfly doors, its wide front grille, heavy detailing at the rear and square wheel arches are enough to turn heads and drop jaws already. The design makes no qualms about grabbing your attention.
5. The interior is just as exciting
It's almost impossible to imagine a calm interior design aesthetic after glimpsing the outside of the car and Tata engineers did not disappoint in this department either. Three high-res screens, a button-filled steering flanked by bright red paddle shifters behind and massive air-con vents are part of the heavy-duty equipment you will find inside.
6. Power does not live up to the hype
With all that the car has going for itself in terms of look, you will be excused if you expect similar engine power. But Tata only offers a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol motor. Tata claims that this twin-turbocharged iteration of its Revotron engine is good for 190hp at 6,500rpm but tests and simulations data shows the car touching only 5,500rpm. The car comes equipped with supercar-like independent double-wishbone suspension but that can only help up to a certain extent. Another claim we might need more evidence to believe is that the power output works out to a potent 159hp/litre.
7. Uses a six-speed AMT gearbox
Supporting the engine is only a six-speed AMT gearbox. These engines are usually more suitable for cars attuned to a lower output. The Lamborghini Aventador though comes with its own derivative of an AMT gearbox, so we have to wait to see how Tata tweaks the gearbox for the kind of power it will deal with in the Racemo.
8. Claims to be India's first connected car
According to reports, Tata Motors' recent partnership with Microsoft may have had some influence over the technology available in the Racemo. Though nothing concrete has been announced yet, the supercar is said to be getting advanced navigation, computerised maintenance log and remote monitoring through Microsoft's cloud-based technology.
9. It will be India's first kit car
The car will be structured from a handful of larger, basic modules instead of a lot of smaller parts, thanks to its MOFlex technology. Initially, this will be done at various workshop-like setups throughout the country, instead of at one large factory or production unit. Tata promises that the car has been attuned to Indian needs and roads thoroughly. Guenter Butschek, CEO of Tata Motors said that dealers, except those willing to scale up to this operation model, won't be retailing this car.
The car is expected to hit the Indian market in early 2018 before this financial year ends. It is expected to be priced around ₹25 lakh.